Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Labridae (Wrasses)

Genus/species: Thalassoma hardwicke

Sixbar Wrasse8410603333_678203e399_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adult is pastel blue to pale green with six dark, vertical bars on their body, the last two saddling the tail. The head has a distinct ‘daisy’ print around the eyes made of a few different pastel colors (e.g., pink bands radiating from the eye) in larger adults.  Max length: 20 cm (7.9 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the tropical Indo-Pacific in shallow lagoons and seaward reefs. Depth to 15 m (50 ft.).

DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivore on benthic and planktonic crustaceans, invertebrates and small fishes.

Sixbar Wrasse8393609669_e1f3601c7c_b

REPRODUCTION: Protogynous hermaphrodite; Hermaphroditism occurs when a given individual in a species possesses both male and female reproductive organs, or can alternate between possessing first one, and then the other. The most common pattern is for a female to change into a male (protogyny). This often happens when a large dominant male is removed by a predator. Within a few days, the largest female in the harem becomes a dominant male and takes over the missing male’s function. This pattern is common in coral reef fishes, such as parrotfishes, wrasses, and groupers.
T.hardwicke is a pelagic spawner meaning water currents widely disperse the young. The eggs, embryos and larvae of pelagic spawners contain oil globules or have a high water content. As a result, they are buoyant and are widely dispersed by currents. The downside is that mortality is high, because they can be eaten so easily by pelagic predators. Pelagic spawners who live in or around coral reefs can spawn a small number of eggs almost daily over a period of months.

CONSERVATION: IUCN; least concern

REMARKS. Occur in small, loose groups.



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